After being dismissed not just by their former teams but by many fans as well, Joe Johnson of the Miami Heat and Lance Stephenson of the Memphis Grizzlies are experiencing ‘career revivals’.. Obviously great pick ups especially with the PlayOffs just around the corner.
Previously at Brooklyn, Joe played 57 games averaging 11.8 points in 33.9 minutes per game. Now at Miami, though he still has only played 11 games, you would not only feel but see Joe’s back to being deadly at 15.7 points in 32 minutes per game. And we’re not just talking about points but percentages. Look.
Though he’s been firing just about the same number of shots per game, 10.7 with Brooklyn as to 10.8 with Miami, Joe’s conversion has marked up real well — 57.1% at Miami as to 40.6% at Brooklyn with 3-point percentages at 59% with the Miami Heat compared to 37.1% with the Brooklyn Nets.
Know what, one clear explanation here would simply be that Joe is growing older and that he needs ‘dangerous’ teammates other himself and Brook Lopez to get it going. When he had Deron back then, Deron was not the same Deron he was at Utah. And when Brooklyn got KG, Pierce, Terry, Livingston and Kirilenko — Jason Kidd was just not able to mesh up their strengths.
While Joe Johnson was waived, Lance landed in Memphis via trade. And what a ‘steal’ it was! After a frustrating stint with the Charlotte Hornets and the LA Clippers, Lance has come to his own with the Grizzlies — like a continuation from the Pacers! So, what happened?
First, let’s check out his stat line..
Over at LA where Lance played for 43 games averaging a mere 4.7 points for 15.8 minutes per game, his output with Memphis tripled! In 15 games, Lance has averaged 15 points for 26.8 minutes per game. His shooting percentage may just be about the same but the number of attempts (LAC 3.9, MEM 12.1 per game) only shows that he’s being given a greater role for a ‘depleted’ Grizzlies team — which is a no-brainer since they really have no choice at the ‘two’ guard. And Lance just made most of the opportunity.
Conclusion. Lance wasn’t effective at Charlotte because the team had Kemba Walker, a ‘star’ point guard; on the other hand, he just didn’t fit the Clippers since that team already had Redick and Crawford, this means he simply lacked playing time. But in Memphis, it’s really only Tony Allen playing the same spot as he does, so Lance has got all the freedom. Interestingly, what would happen when ‘star’ point guard Mike Conley returns? Would it stifle Lance like when he was still with Charlotte?
See, the Pacers still had a ‘budding’ PG in George Hill, so his rise.